Monday, January 14, 2008

Fort DeSoto Park; Tampa Bay, Florida

In 2005, North Beach at Ft. DeSoto State Park was named the "#1 Beach in America." Friendly RVers have told me that we must camp there. We didn't make arrangements for camping for I knew that once we got settled in Tampa that we would make a pilgrimage. A day trip doing some geocaching provided us opportunities to see parts of the park (1100 acres on 5 islands) that we might otherwise have missed.

North Beach is the largest beach, with picnic areas and sand dunes nearby. On the Gulf of Mexico, the waves lap gently and create a relaxing family atmosphere perfect for sunbathing. The sand is fine and very white, almost like baby powder between your toes.

I preferred the smaller East Beach with no concessions and very few people. We picked up a couple of geocaches near here. This view is facing east toward the Sunshine Skyline Bridge over Tampa Bay, linking St. Petersburg and Bradenton.

The actual fort is camouflaged from the Gulf of Mexico side by sand dunes and sea grasses. This is the back side view of Ft. DeSoto. One of the cannons was the scene of a virtual cache. After locating the correct cannon as determined by the GPS coordinates, we had to read the accompanying sign and answer six questions about the cannon specs. Only after answering them correctly could we claim credit for the cache.

From the top of fort, we enjoyed a different perspective of North Beach.

The view to the other direction encompasses the fishing pier and ferry dock.

We found our sixth and final cache of the day near the fishing pier. We turned and realized the sun was setting over the water to the west. We haven't seen that since we traveled in Oregon and California back in 2002.

Click here to visit my web album with 25 photos from Ft.DeSoto.

No comments: